Monday, December 13, 2010

I want you to want me 12/13/10 Final

I want you to want me
10 Things I Hate About You directed by Gil Junger is an attempt to make people see how radical the lives of teenagers are. They show us examples of radical romance, but really throughout the plot; and at the end, the movie maintains the status quo. The status quo is kept by the high school students, parents, and leading figures. 10 Things I Hate About You starts off with a new kid in school (Cameron) who is blown away by a  beautiful girl who has just crossed his path; Bianca. He wants to date Bianca, but there are two problems. Bianca is not part of his click, her standards, or her "class." Bianca is a Stratford, her sister Kat is considered a heinous bitch by most, which shows us the threat to men that a righteous and strong woman can create to the first sex, gender, and authority in society; men. Cameron's only hope to take Bianca out is to find someone who will date her sister. At first the problem only seemed to be that Bianca was out of his league, and not allowed to date; but later Cameron and Michael realize that the only way for Cameron to get someone to take Kat out, is by paying them to do so. This movie seemed like an example of the teenage life but then I realized it is a mirror of today’s society. These teenagers in high school already have either constructed or have been fed their personal ideal and opinions about woman. Cameron wants the girl, he must pursuit, and however his respect for women is not that great. He does not care about Kat’s feelings; he is even willing to put a price on her. This not only shows the viewer the threat that men feel towards an independent, educated, and outspoken woman but it shows that women still carry the parallel of seventeenth century, like in some of the literature mentioned in the movie. When women were nothing but property, women were slave-like, had no word, no freedom; and the outcome of when they desired change or an opportunity to speak. Seventeenth century is not the only time that women had no voice, for as long as history has been written woman have always been portrayed as passive, and content. In this movie we have different profiles of women, we have Bianca who wants to be accepted, her friend who is willing to be a mat, and we have Kat who is the ideal modern woman. The conflict is not that Cameron cannot have Bianca; it is that she is torn whether she wants to play the acceptance dummy like her friend or the independent woman she can become. Bianca’s friend is in her shadow; she must abide, agree, and stick with Bianca because she is the one that appeals to everyone. The only way out for Bianca’s friend to exit her shadow is to give up the capacity of being a self. She then follows the route of acceptance, she wants to be the popular “one” but if she is popular that then means that she is part of a construction to be a certain way ignore sacrifices she must make like her virginity or promiscuity for popularity. Kat is the example of an educated, independent, and outspoken woman. She is the modern role of how woman are becoming. Even if Kat is being the heinous bitch, she is seeking independence and freedom from what ties her to the society that constructs what women must do for “love”. Purity is something that has been dramatized in this movie, Bianca is the pure one, she is desired because she is still untouchable, and Kat is the angry example of when “love” goes wrong. She is angry at the sacrifice she made for acceptance from someone who she thought loved her and respected who she was. Her giving up her virginity to the cutest boy who seemed to respect who she actually was is an example of how males are fed a construction of who they have to be or literally screw over to get ahead. Kat was nothing but a trampoline Joey had to jump to get his reputation going; to some men, women are nothing but reputation. This movie has shown us the example of structure, agency, and the creation which society makes us to be. These three characters portray the evolution of women, the journey and decisions they must make in order to confirm who they are. In earlier times the woman had to abide by the rules, had no voice, no freedom to decide or become educated. As time went on we have the woman who has made decisions, appealed to the social norms and expectations; to become a new type of woman. Through time some women have become “lost in translation”. The new woman is one who does not care for “out of the ordinary”, someone who does not mind to speak and actually have their own point of view. The new woman is educated, demands respect, and feels autonomist. 

Like Kat wanting romance, wanting to be loved, Cameron, Michael, and Patrick show us that we are not "autonomous" because Cameron has to depend on Michael; but they both must depend on Joey. Joey is the wallet, he is who provides Patrick the money to take Kat out, and therefore they all depend on each other. We are always already "unstable" and "in play" because we always depend on one another.
If Joey is the one with the money, is he then considered the owner or master, are those relationships not present as well? They are, because in order for Joey to get Bianca, Cameron and Michael must convince, advice, and help Patrick seduce Kat. They are all dependent. Bianca relies on Cameron to be able to go out, while she decides who she wants to be, and who she wants to be represented by or seen with. In a relationship we are the advertisers of the other partner. We advertise who the other is. Whether the person is high class, low-class, ugly, beautiful, educated or ignorant.
 Kat depends on Patrick to be the different person that proves her concept of males wrong. Michael depends on Cameron and Patrick’s success to get Kat to go out; in order for Joey to admit that Michael exists. Reputation is not the only issue; there is also a problem with acceptance, and existence. Why must someone be accepted? Who is to decide the standards that become requirements for acceptance? These are questions proposed in this movie, it shows us that high school is a society of its own, that reflects society in a bigger picture. This small internal society constructs standards, which must be met in order to be embraced by the “high school society.” The ironic part is that usually the people in power are those of economical power; in Joey’s case that is exactly who he is. There are economical and social relationships that coincide with the present standards in our society. Men in this movie have the position of power; have the privilege and luxury to be in command, and in control of the woman. Bianca and Kat's father is an uptight person who believes that his daughters are in danger if they take action in everyday life. He is the traditional male who is only afraid of his daughter’s decisions because of his concept of how easy, passive, and na├»ve women are. He makes and breaks the rules. He does not want Kat to go away for college; he tries to hold her back. In a sense it is a parallel of how he wants control over his daughters; but most of all control as the male in power and command. The father resembles the owner and the master.

 Joey is the character that represents the "Successful American." Joey purchases everything. Joey is like a character plugged in from the movie American Physco. Joey puts a value on it all, not sentimental, but economical value. Joey is a product of capitalism and commercialism. He buys things in order to replenish what he is missing mentally and emotionally.

10 Things I Hate About You is a romantic comedy that shows us the switching of roles, the desire of sex, and the construction of characters that define different economical positions, situations, and gender roles, even within the same gender. Bianca's friend is a free spirit that believes in getting ahead, she is the female version of Joey; without the money. She is willing to get everything she wants without taking the consequences into consideration. After Joey treats Bianca carelessly, Bianca's friend is still interested in Joey. Bianca in this movie represents what “good” woman should be like in Joey’s/mens eyes. Bianca represents purity, untouched love, and morality. Since Bianca is a character that has these qualities, she is the desired. Bianca thinks she is loved by everyone, but really she is sexually wanted "What does this chick have, beer flavored nipples?" (Heath Ledger/Patrick). Her intelligence does not matter, what matters is the assumption of her being a virgin. She has her own concept of self, and does not realize what others actually think, until she makes the decision of what kind of woman she wants to be.

Throughout the entire movie we see what is thought of as radical romance. Situations like Kat once being popular, but giving away her virginity to Joey, now using that situation as a motive to be the bitch people make her out to be. However even if Patrick and Kat's love seem radical because they both have a horrible reputation, Kat only has wanted love all along, and even if the road was bumpy; love is what she finds in Patrick. However, even that love has tweaks and flaws. Would all women forgive a man after hurting them? Is the concept of forgiveness realistic in real life? A bass can be a form of a sexual representation according to Freud. Is Patrick not buying her off as well? Is Kat giving in to societies rules for acceptance?  This movie is one of the most incredible examples of something with a facade of radical romance, but within the masks, maintaining the status quo. Kat and Patrick's relationship gives us an example of radical romance, switching of the roles, and the modern woman. Joey shows us how he is the representation of the powerful man in charge, the woman and man compared to the master and slave. Cameron willing to have someone purchase Bianca's attention for him shows us the dependence, and the construction of what we think is extreme; only being an example of daily situations people act out for their own convenience. 10 Things I Hate About You is the modern romantic comedy that has a radical but normal twist, it proves to us that things have not changed. We have and always will be a constructed society, with a designated created self. We are not autonomist, we are not unique, we all must abide by the expectations and become products of profit and society.

Barker, Chris. Cultural Studies: Theory and Practice
De Beauvoir. The Second Sex
McDonald. The Romantic Comedy: Boy Meets Girl Meets Genre
Butler. “Imitation and Gender Insubordination”
Foucault. The History of Sexuality


12/07 Final thoughts

Throughout this course I have faced being the second sex, having no-self, the construction of beauty, race, sex, gender, and the construction of media, web, and cultural politics. I learned that through society I will be the second. Woman still are faced with the slave-master worker-owner relationship. We have no self, the self is constructed, we are products of commercialism and capitalism. The things we buy make us the product, the profit for those in power. We are walking advertisements. That which we think makes us unique is a construction of who we think we are, which include beauty, race, and gender.  Beauty is an opinion and an ideology created by the media and society which tells us if we are ugly, pretty, fat, skinny, too tall, too dark/light, and if who we think we are and look at is nothing but a design of society.

11/30 Barker Chap 14 " Cultural Politics and Cultural Policy"

"The emergence of cultural studies as an institutionally located enterprise did not coincide with an upsurge of class struggle."

 Hegenomy was a concept that was used in relation to social class, now it embodies relations towards sex, gender, age, national identity, and ethnicity. One of the most important concepts that hegenomy has adapted towards is femenism. This shows us that cultural politics and policy has had its turns and tweeks in history in order to fulfill the ideology of citizens in need of "democracy."

Cultural politics and policy had to assimilate to regulate and produce cultural identities and social action. In cultural politics African Americans challenge the representation of black people as a marginal and crminalized. Women want to be citizens of equal standing with men; but both African Americans and women are still fighting for the establishment of their cultural policy. Language is very important for redescribing because in order to say anything and take action there must be a temporary closure to the meaning of what is being challenged for redescription.

11/23 Barker chapter 11 ' digital media culture"

Digital technology organize and enables information to be processed at a greater speed. Like news, the hegemonic model, and soap operas, digital technology shows us the democratic exchange of ideas and opinions. The Internet is hailed as a new social space. A text has no single meaning or original source but is made up of already existing cultural quotations. Blogs and web pages have created support for democratic activism . Every website demands more data and more information regarding public culture. Having a blog or a profile on the web has created an adoption to beliefs, and created a way of constructing a self. We do not have to see the other person in contact, it is information we screen, create, and not always research; of course not always from first hand experience. 

The information we see on the internet, on other blogs, and profiles from other people are created to serve those who believe in the same issues, have similar values, and political preferences. The Hegemonic model is a perfect example for the digital media culture. For example channel 34 is a channel that shows spanish speaking soap operas, news regarding issues that affect the culture like (immigration, green act, and political advances that profit the Mexican, Latin/Hispanic community.) They are part of a coorporation called Univision; Univision has created a website that allows viewers that missed a soap opera or news to watch it online, create a blog about what they have watched, chat within a community of people with similar interests, and leave comments on something they have a "unique" opinion about.

"We might think we are surfing freely through the web but actually we are being channelled into the limited options chosen by powerful commercial interest." (Pg.356)

 they are a stream of

11/16 American physco

This movie is about the 1980s but made in the 2000s. The main character Patrick Baytmon has created his own form of self, he is a product of capitalism, commercialism, and social ambition. Patrick is nothing but a social construction of self. He has layers that slowly peel off when he erupts in disgust and anger. Patrick is a profit because of his wealth, he exploits, he makes purchases, therefore he is a cycle of commercialism and capitalism. An example of this is his golden boy image, the cleansers, scrubs, after shave, moisturizers, and balms.

Without language we cannot know ones self, Patrick's ideology is already structured. Reaction is written and given to us. He is an example of action (doing something has a monstreous side.) He is monstreous when he says "fucken ugly bitch I want to stab you to death and play around with your blood." His physco side comes out, his contruction of who he has become, and what society has made of him.

11/09 Seinfeld

Seinfeld is "a show about nothing" it is a stream of words into Amrican pop culture. Elaine is the corky character full worries and gossip, she is the only female in the group, and Jerry's ex. Jerry is the glue of the group who is a comedian and wants to star on the today show as a stand up comedian. Kramer is the balance of the group, he is the creative and imaginitive one.George can never hold a job down or score the girl, but he has more than enough schemes to make things happen.

The four of them make the setting at the coffee shop, restaurant, or mall. Their everyday experience always sets the stage for their humor about single life in the big city. The language presented in the show has created memories like "masters of their domain, close talkers, big salads, killer envelopes, and yada, yada, yada, yada. This show has made history. This show dramatizes everyday events and simple issues, it uses satire to show us how ridiculous we sometimes act about meaningless things.

Barker Chapter 10 11/02

"News is not an unmediated 'window-on-the-world' but a selected and constructed representation constitutive of 'reality'."  Like other forms of television, the news is a medium to the audiences that tend to agree with their opinions, arguments, and values that are presented. News is constructed to be negative towards the opposing side, positive to the audience it serves, and neutral to the new viewers. News presents the viewer with politics, economy, domestic and foreign affairs, sports, and hot/occasional stories.

I believe in the manipulative model, the media is a class-dominated society, the media is controlled by those in power. They control what we see, who we lean to believe in, and what we are informed about. We see the screened version of the aftermath. I also believe that we see what we want, hear what we want, and believe in who and what we want to. Therefore we can say that the hegemonic model is the model in power, because the type of people that believe in what is presented, is who it serves. For the case of women, femenist have said  soap operas are the only validations and motives glorified as a space for women.
Soap operas and the Hegemonic model are two examples of presentations that serve a specific someone.